As many of you may have read by now, my journey into Millinery was not a natural one. After graduating with a 1st Class (hons) BSc degree in Fashion, i chose to take a gap year out to backpack around the globe, unfortunately during this time we fell into a global recession. Upon my return and raring to pursue a career in the field i studied, i began to apply for fashion buying jobs in the capital, sadly people just weren’t hiring, and lots of my graduate friends who had found entry level jobs we sadly let go.
Unsure at this point in my life as what i should do i began to work in the family business… Soon enough my bothers wedding came round, and my mother had a fascinator made unfortunately she revived it back and apart from the base been the right colour, the trim was nothing like she had asked for, and this was 48 hours before the wedding ! drawing on my art and sculptural base background, i took it away and ran out to every haberdashery i could think of, i re-trimmed the hat to as mum had pictured it, and the wedding was a great success.
Unable to find a job still, a guest at the wedding had heard about the tale of the hat and chatted to me saying “why don’t you go and do some courses in millinery while your applying for jobs, it will look great on the CV” In the coming weeks researched courses and found one at the Janie Lashford School of millinery. I attend the school over six months, training in different disciplines of millinery, to give me a good overall grasp of the skill. I was quite surprised how naturally i found it, and i surprisingly enjoyed it! Upon my return home my mother and farther were suitably impressed with my pieces, as was i.
After a while mulling it over i decided to try to make a go of it, opening in the spring of 2010 as a cottage industry business, trading as quills Millinery selling hats and headpieces. My name spread slowly round the county and i sore clients coming to me for my services from all over the northeast and unbelievably nationwide.
Two years later i expanded into Occasion Wear clothing. In the spring of 2014 i was offered the chance to re locate my business to the Vibrant and well know shopping district of Grange Road Darlington, re-branding from Quills Millinery to Joel Alexander as well as expanding with new Occasion, Evening and Headwear collections.
So with that shortly condensed for you, welcome to JOEL ALEXANDER !